Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

Home

Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are evaluating the use of trained scent-detection canines to sniff out avian disease.

Detection Canines

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research

News

Trained scent-detection dog and dog trainer at work in a taro field at Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
November 22, 2017

Dogs have great olfactory abilities and wildlife biologists think they can help endangered waterbirds in Hawai‘i. Dogs are being trained to sniff out the endangered ducks (koloa maoli (Anas wyvilliana) and Laysan ducks (A. laysanensis)) that die of avian botulism. 

Image: 'Akiapōlā'au
July 10, 2017

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

A Laysan Albatross chick in its nest near the coastline at Midway Atoll, Hawaii
June 22, 2017

Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Rapid colonization of a Hawaiian restoration forest by a diverse avian community

Deforestation of tropical forests has led to widespread loss and extirpation of forest bird species around the world, including the Hawaiian Islands which have experienced a dramatic loss of forests over the last 200–800 years. Given the important role birds play in forest ecosystem functions via seed dispersal and pollination, a bird community's...

Paxton, Eben H.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli; Camp, Richard J.; Kendall, Steve J.
Paxton, E. H., S. G. Yelenik, T. E. Borneman, E. T. Rose, R. J. Camp, and S. J. Kendall. 2018. Rapid colonization of a Hawaiian restoration forest by a diverse avian community. Restoration Ecology 26:165–173.

Year Published: 2017

Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

The Hawaiian Islands are well known for their unique ecosystem assemblages that have a high proportion of endemic flora and fauna. However, since human colonization of this archipelago—starting with the arrival of Polynesian sailors approximately 1,200 years ago, and particularly following western contact in 1778—thousands of non-native species...

Jacobi, James D.; Stock, Jonathan
Jacobi, J.D., and Stock, J., 2017, Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5136, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175136.

Year Published: 2017

How many Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction

Wildlife managers often request a simple approach to monitor the status of species of concern. In response to that need, we used eight years of monitoring data to estimate population size and test the validity of an index for monitoring accurately the abundance of reintroduced, endangered Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis. The population was...

Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Hatfield, Jeffrey
Reynolds, M. H., K. N. Courtot, and J. S. Hatfield. 2017. How many Laysan teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction. Wildfowl 67:60–71. Available: https://wildfowl.wwt.org.uk/index.php/wildfowl/article/view/2664/1781